Switzerland’s flour quality has fallen off in quality. Quantity was more important than quality, do the bakers complain. More resistant species of wheat have replaced the ones with better baking characteristics. That means, that the Swiss flour is generally low in gluten and it’s harder to get high breads with it.

When I decided that I need some Vital Wheat Gluten in order to improve the flour’s quality, I soon found out that it’s not available at any normal store. I called the organic stores, I called the health food shops, I even tried to order it over my dad, who’s a doctor and has his own little pharmacy. (I order my soy for cooking through him as well.) No way. I called the producers, the sellers, the mills, but nobody was willing to sell my less than 50 pounds. What should I do with 50 pounds of Vital Wheat Gluten? And do I have just 75 francs, approximately 65 dollars, on hand to waste?

Well, no.

I knew that the bakeries in my village and in my valley mostly bake with ready made flour blends. There’s actually only one bread which I like and which really seems to be “home made”. There is this one great bakery called “Merz”  in Chur though, which bakes without any preservatives or chemical additives. They both have sourdough and regular breads with doughs that are allowed to ripe during more than 24 hours, if needed. Not surprisingly they bake fantastic breads, for instance the “Segalé” a very aromatic moist rye bread, or the “Müesli Brötli”, the most delicious roll ever. Stuffed with all the good of “Müesli”, hazelnuts, apricots, raisins. . .

The pictures below show quite tasty rolls that I made some time ago, trying to imitate the all-time favourite  “Müesli Brötli”. It just wasn’t the same. I’d do a lot to get the original recipe of this godness.

Well, anyway. To come back to the topic: I was racking my brain in order to come up with a place where I could get Vital Wheat Gluten in reasonable amounts in Switzerland. Actually I was racking my brain while I was walking to work, so I had to pass the “Merz”. That’s when I decided to call the chef baker and ask whether he could help me. He was incredibly friendly, promised me to send a kilo of Vital Wheat Gluten to the store and there it was today, when I passed by there. He made me a real good deal as well, he only asked for 6.80 francs, about six dollars. That’s ain’t cheap for a whole kilo of premium quality wheat gluten. Now I’ll go and search for recipes including either high-gluten flour or pure Vital Wheat Gluten.

So, if anybody’s looking for Vital Wheat Gluten in Switzerland, go and check in with your favorite bakery, and if anybody needs a good bread or roll while staying in Chur, check out the Merz.